NEWS BRIEFS: On Campus, Across the Nation & Around the World

Freeway expansion delayed
Expansion on the 101 Freeway at Wendy Drive in Newbury Park, Calif., was due to be completed in August. However, the City of Thousand Oaks told the Thousand Oaks Acorn that they now expect the expansion to be finished mid-December. It is taking longer than originally planned because a change order from the Thousand Oaks City Council expanded the project to the Wendy Drive off-ramp and intersection.
This $15.8 million expansion has been in development since February 2012 with hopes of decreasing traffic on the 101 Freeway. It is funded through federal funding, state taxes, and city developer fees.

Obamacare under fire
The United States House of Representatives passed a plan on Sept. 20 that would eliminate funding for the Affordable Care Act, with a 230-189 vote, according to CNN. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is a healthcare plan that decreases the cost of health care, but also expects every individual to have health insurance. It will now move on to the Senate, which is expected to reject the plan.
The Republican-led House voted to pass this plan because the government could potentially be shut down in two weeks if they do not change their spending. If the Senate also approves this plan, the government should be able to stay open through Dec. 15. The Senate will vote next week.

Syria discloses weapons
According to NBC News, Syria has declared its chemical weapons to the world as part of a deal with the United States and Russia. This deal was made to prevent an American military attack on Syria. This declaration was sent to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said in a briefing that this document of declaration from Syria is a good start to resolving conflicts caused by the Aug. 21 sarin gas attack, which killed over 1,400 people.

Death toll rises in Mexico
The death toll has risen to 110 people due to the flooding and landslide caused by Tropical Storm Manuel in La Pintada, Mexico on Sept. 14, according to Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong. Soldiers are continuing to search for the 68 people who are still missing. They are searching through mud and riverbeds for the missing people while fearing another landslide. At least 35,000 homes were damaged by the weather.
According to Fox News, people are asking why officials were more concerned about the Independence Day celebrations instead of preparing La Pintada citizens about the approaching storm. However, a spokesman for Mexico’s Federal Security, Eduardo Sanchez, said in a statement that protocol for an emergency like this was followed.

13 wounded in Chicago
Thirteen people were wounded in a Chicago park on the evening of Sept. 19. Three were left in critical condition following the attack, including a three-year-old boy. The young boy had surgery and is recovering. The suspects of the shooting are a group of men who have been visiting Cornell Square Park for gang-related activities, according to  Fox News. Two men are currently in custody  and considered “persons of interest,” according to CNN.
While there has been an increased amount of violence in September, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy said in a statement that overall violence has been down in 2013 compared to 2012. The Chicago Police Department has increased patrolling in certain neighborhoods, including where this attack occurred.

Cate Dimmit
Staff Writer
Published Sept. 25, 2013